MORTON'S chief executive admits the next few weeks will be critical in the club's fight for survival amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Scottish football is facing a major cash crisis with the game in cold storage for two months and counting as a result of the disease and subsequent lockdown.

No one has any certainty about when next season will begin - or if any matches which do take place will be played in public to bring in lifeline revenue after months with no income.

Ton's players remain on furlough leave and paid under the UK Government's job retention scheme but Cappielow CEO Dave Mackinnon says that despite all the uncertainty plans must be put in place now to secure the club's future.

Despite the gravity of the crisis he is relishing the challenge of battling to keep the club afloat and ensure that it emerges intact.

Mackinnon told the Tele: "I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.

"There will be challenges but it’s a great club and a great community.

“I’m quite pleased that there will be a refocus on what we have to do.

“The future of the club is at stake here.

"The actions that we take now are with a view to making sure the club is here at the other end.”

Mackinnon says that although club bosses are trying to plan for next season, the uncertainty is making this difficult.

He said: “We’ve obviously put the players and management on furlough and the government have extended that, which is hugely welcome.

“We’re still looking at what potential monies we can project forward for next season, so it’s very difficult to determine a playing budget.

“The clock is ticking for players' contracts.

"We want to do what we can and we are looking at various options.

"We’re going to have to make a decision.

“The club has to ensure that it is there at the end when we all come out the other side.

"That’s going to be difficult and the main thing is keeping the club intact.”

Mackinnon says the safety of fans will take top priority should games return.

Closed doors matches have started in Germany and it's hoped that Scottish clubs may be able to work round social distancing requirements to allow fans back in when next term begins.

Mackinnon said: “We have to make sure that when all our fans come back to the games they are safe, that’s the only thing that really matters.

“I’ve had a virtual meeting with a group of local government and agencies to look at what we would do if we are allowed to bring in a percentage of our capacity.

“We are thinking about what we need to do to ensure safety is paramount, these are the kind of things we have to concentrate on."

One of the first issues to tackle will involve dealing with the aftermath of the 2019-20 campaign being brought to an early halt.

Last month, Partick Thistle - who have been relegated into League One - offered their season ticket holders a partial refund for the games that did not take place.

Only 3.5 per cent of supporters applied for the refund, saving the club over £75,000.

Mackinnon says options are being looked at to reimburse Ton supporters for the games missed.

He said: “I’ve had some hugely positive emails from season ticket holders offering support financially and these are things we have to really work on.

“We’re looking at various plans for season tickets.

"One of the things is that most Morton season ticket holders have had season tickets for a number of years, so we’ll look at what we can do to see if we can compensate them.

“The fans are knowledgeable, and they support the club through thick and thin and that’s hugely appreciated.”

Mackinnon admits that it is the thought of seeing those people back on the terraces that drives him on during these unprecedented times - along with remembering those connected with the club who have lost their lives to the virus.

He said: “We need to try and fill Cappielow on the first day back.

"How good would that be, to get the fans back in - that’s the vision that I keep thinking about.

“I go into the stadium three or four times a week to make sure alarms and utilities are working, a big list to satisfy insurance purposes.

“When I go in there on my own my vision is to see the place full.

"I’ve only been at the club about a year and I’ve got to know a lot of people and respect a lot of people.

“When I go into the ground I can see them in the terracing, I see the place full, that’s what keeps me going.

“We sadly have lost some prominent fans and ex-players through coronavirus and that’s been hugely difficult to take.

"It's been sad, and we need to look at how we can honour people at the other end of this.”